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Michigan Vehicle Accident Attorney

Every year, vehicle collisions kill or seriously injure millions of Americans. These victims must deal with significant medical bills, horrible pain and suffering, and an insurance company that demands settlement. To obtain relief from all three of these things, contact our Grand Rapids personal injury lawyers and we will start working for you.

The professional team at Buchanan Firm arranges for victims to receive medical treatment, vehicle replacement, and other services at no upfront cost. We also build a legal claim so victims get the compensation they deserve. And, we deal with the insurance company, so victims can focus on getting better.

First-Party Liability in Vehicle Collision Claims

Defective tire blowouts, lightning strikes, and other unavoidable incidents cause a few of the vehicle collisions in Michigan. But driver error causes over 90 percent of these incidents. That error could be a traffic violation like:

  • Speeding
  • Failure to yield
  • Distracted driving
  • Ignoring a traffic control device
  • Driving on the shoulder

Under Michigan law, tortfeasors (negligent drivers) who violate any safety law and cause a collision may be responsible for damages as a matter of law. In negligence per se claims, most victims need only prove causation.

Distracted driving could also involve ordinary negligence. Michigan only has a limited cell phone ban which applies to texting while driving. Other device usage, such as game playing and web surfing, is technically legal. But such behavior violates the duty of care.

Fatigue is another good example of driver impairment. Drowsy driving is an issue in many truck crashes. Many long-haul drivers stay on the road for long hours, because shipping companies pay by the load and not by the mile. Other truck drivers are behind the wheel late at night or early in the morning. Most people are naturally drowsy at these times, no matter how much rest they had the night before. Call our Grand Rapids truck accident lawyers to learn more.

Alcohol, prescription painkillers, and other substances cause a significant number of crashes as well. Alcohol’s impairing effects begin with the first drink. So, even if tortfeasors are not legally intoxicated, they may be dangerously impaired.

Finally, many Michiganders suffer from epilepsy, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses which could cause a sudden loss of consciousness. It is very dangerous for these individuals to drive at any time.

Third-Party Liability in Vehicle Collision Claims

Sometimes, the tortfeasor is not the only person responsible for damages. Vicarious liability claims are especially important in catastrophic injury situations. Many times, individual tortfeasors do not have enough insurance coverage to provide fair compensation in these situations. Third-party liability gives car wreck victims an additional source of recovery.

When a truck driver, Uber driver, taxi driver, or other commercial operator causes a car crash, the respondeat superior doctrine usually applies. This rule holds employers legally responsible for any negligent acts their employees commit during the scope of their employment. Michigan law defines all these key terms in broad, victim-friendly ways.

The Wolverine State also has a dram shop law which holds restaurants, grocery stores, and other commercial alcohol providers liable for damages if their impaired patrons negligently cause injuries. To establish impairment at the time of sale, victim/plaintiffs may use circumstantial evidence, like slurred speech and bloodshot eyes.

Finally, vehicle owners may be responsible for damages if they allow incompetent motorists to operate their vehicles. Evidence of incompetency includes things like a safety-suspended drivers’ license, no drivers’ license, or driving in violation of license restrictions (e.g. no nighttime driving).

Damages in Michigan vehicle collision claims normally include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Connect with a Savvy Lawyer

Vehicle collisions often cause serious injuries. For a free consultation, contact Buchanan Firm. Our accident attorneys in Grand Rapids can help build your case. Home and hospital visits are available.